Taiwan soldier on maneuvers in
a locally-made tank: Democratic
Taiwan, trapped in a Cold War
time warp, continues to struggle to
democracy while engaging the authoritarian behemoth
the Taiwan Strait.
Inadequate U.S. Weapons Deal Shows Failure of Taiwan President
consistent policy of satisfying the demands of our bullying neighbor has
purchased only contempt from the PRC and has indicated to the global community
that Taiwan believes in the inevitability if its eventual annexation by authoritarian
Taiwan President Ma Ying-jeou: In what may be the hardest job in the democratic world, he must
accept American military aid to deter an invasion by the mainland, while
protecting the interests of 23 million Taiwanese, many of whom do business in authoritarian China.
Upon his return from a six-day visit to Honduras, the
Dominican Republic and the United States, President Ma Ying-jeou said that the
successful completion of his "missions" had shown the correctness of
his strategy of a "diplomatic truce" with the People's Republic of
China, and the rebuilding of "trust" with Washington through adopting
Ma, who is also chairman of the rightist ruling Chinese
Nationalist Party (Kuomintang), also confirmed U.S. President Barack Obama's
decision to notify Congress about a $6.4 billion package of defensive weapons for
In addition to bolstering Taiwan's
self-defense capability, the president said the new defense systems would
permit Taiwan greater
confidence in engaging the authoritarian People's Republic of China,
which has deployed over 1,500 missiles and other offensive forces on the other
side of the Taiwan Strait.
Unfortunately, the nature of the weapons package and the
furious reaction of the Communist Party-ruled PRC have torn away the fig leaf from
such absurdly optimistic notions.
First, it should be noted that the "new" package,
which includes 60 Black Hawk helicopters, two Osprey-class
minesweepers, Patriot Advanced Capability (PAC-3) anti-missile
missiles, a few Harpoon
missiles and advanced software for "C4ISR" command and
intelligence systems, only satisfies part of an US$11 billion arms package
originally pledged to Taiwan in 2001by Republican President George W. Bush.
Ironically, Washington's selection of defensive weapons to
sell Taiwan may have been influenced by Ma's change of strategic concept, from
preparing for a "decisive battle outside of our territory," which is
a forward defense posture based on local air and naval superiority, to
"determined defense and effective deterrence," which envisions an
army-based defense on Taiwanese soil.
Combined with Ma's tacit acceptance of Beijing's "one
China principle," the Kuomintang government's new strategy may have
discouraged Washington from providing more sophisticated weaponry by indicating
to the global community that Taiwan believes in the inevitability if its eventual
annexation by a "rising China."
Moreover, Beijing's overreaction to Obama's decision,
including the rupture of Sino-American military exchanges and threats to impose
sanctions on U.S. companies, may well be calculated to draw a red line in order
to block Washington from selling F-16 C/D jets, AEGIS frigates or conventional
submarines to Taiwan in the future.
Posted by WORLDMEETS.US
The PRC's fierce condemnation of the sale of this inadequate
package of defensive weaponry also explodes the myth behind President Ma's much-touted
"reconciliation" policy toward Beijing.
It demonstrates again that the communist regime hasn't in the slightest modified
its insistence that Taiwan
is part of the PRC, and that the "final solution" of the "Taiwan
question" is a matter of PRC "domestic policy" that brooks no
Ma's consistent policy of satisfying the demands of our
bullying neighbor has purchased only contempt from the PRC, while it has mislead
the international community into believing that Taiwan's elected government and
people may indeed accept Taiwan as part of "China" or even the PRC. This
can be shown by how Taiwan
is increasing identified as "Taiwan
on the Web pages of even humanitarian non-governmental organizations, such as
Moreover, Ma's timidity is already being replicated by local
media. Taiwan editorial
comment is more often about calling for the adoption of an even more
"cautious" stance "to avoid becoming a direct target" of Beijing's
ire, and to make additional concessions on the controversial "cross-strait
economic cooperation agreement," rather than standing up for our rights as
a democratic and independent state.
In sum, Ma's refusal to stand on the foundations laid by former
presidents Lee Tung-hui
[KMT] and Chen Shui-bian [Democratic
Progressive Party], in regard to Taiwan's
actual legal status as an independent and democratic constitutional state, and
his tacit acceptance of Beijing's
nationalism," has disarmed Taiwan.
It has undermined defense against PRC annexation and the credibility of our
nation's status as a distinct democratic member of the global community.
Posted by WORLDMEETS.US
democratically-elected president, Ma is obliged to ensure the national security
and interests of Taiwan's
23 million citizens. He has no mandate to resuscitate his party's "great China"
dream or deny our 23 million people the right to democratic self-determination by
arbitrarily deciding that Taiwan's
future is a matter for "the people on both sides of the Taiwan
Strait to decide."
The pursuit of normal relations with China
must not be twisted into a justification for the surrender of Taiwan's
hard-won democracy and prosperity.
Instead, Ma should remind the global community that Taiwan
is part of the global democratic alliance against authoritarianism, is resolved
to seek peace in democracy and dignity - and not at their expense. He should intensify
efforts to persuade Washington
and other world capitals that Taiwan
is committed to defending our democratic way of life, and therefore needs the self-defense
capability necessary to dissuade communist China
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